What’s up with the lemon tart?!

Call me narcissistic, but every so often I check out my blog’s statistics.

I can’t tell who the individual visitors are, but I can see that on a certain day in February I had almost 100 readers. (For many blogs, that would be pathetic. But for me it’s pretty cool.)

And yet, some of the stats mystify me: One of my biggest hits is a lemon tart. (Not the post about my last solo day in Paris. Nope … just the lemon tart.)

At first I was a bit offended. There’s so much more to my life than a simple lemon tart! I’ve traveled and loved and suffered since that tart. I don’t want to be defined by a photo of a lemon tart.

But then I remembered the true purpose of my blog: I write it for myself. It’s my diary. It’s a touchstone for my friends. It’s a gift for Esteban, so he can hear my voice after I’m gone.

A long time ago, one of my professors described the intoxicating effect of having an audience. “You’ll find yourself pandering more and more to your readers,” he said (in my paraphrased quote), “until one day you’ll discover that you’ve lost yourself.”

I’m lucky I’ll probably never lose myself to an admiring public. Unlike Tennessee Williams, who wrestled with the “Bitch Goddess” in his Catastrophe of Success, I’ll never have to worry about trashing posh hotel rooms or languishing mindlessly by a pool.

And for that I feel infinitely fortunate.

It must be terrible to suffer for one’s art, to agonize over each brushstroke or to fear that you’re a fraud. I feel both lucky and blessed to write just for the sheer joy of it — for my pleasure, and for my friends.

But what the heck: I don’t want to disappoint my random readers, either. Want a lemon tart? Here you go. Enjoy!

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